In terms of their next employment opportunity, job seekers fall into one of three categories:
A. “I know what I want to do and have career skills to prove it.” Or,
B. “I don’t know what I want to do because I have done so many different occupations before and I like them all equally.” Or,
C. “I don’t know what I want to do because I don’t like what I used to do, or because what I used to do is no longer viable, or because I am reentering the workforce after being out for a while, or because I have never been in the workforce before.”
The challenge for those who do not know what they want to do is to get them to focus. As I tell them, I can teach you how to shoot a basketball, but if you just throw balls into the air, you are unlikely to ever make a basket.
My favorite source for focusing a job search is O*Net Online.
Sponsored by the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online is useful in a number of different ways:
- If you really do not know where to start, then start with entering your Skills and Interests and see what occupations this suggests.
- Type in a job title and read the typical Tasks, Tools, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Training for the position. Is this, generally, what you want to do?
- Review Related Occupations to your target – is there perhaps a better fit?
- Perhaps the most helpful aspect is that O*Net Online is linked to CareerOneStop, where for your selected occupations you can learn what are the average Wage/Salary ranges for the occupation in your state relative to national averages. Does this occupation pay enough, on average, to support you and your family?
- The CareerOneStop also shows whether the national and state occupational trends – is the occupation growing or declining, and how many openings (on average) are expected over the next six to ten years? With your background and experience, can you expect to reasonably compete for the expected openings?
In future posts, I will provide tips for each of these separately.
Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.